WEB ONLY: Biolans train middle schoolers to film

Chimes Online exclusive. Four Biola film students trained 36 middle schoolers to produce their own videos last week at Biola.

Kathryn Watson, Writer

Four Biola film students trained 36 gifted students from Hutchinson Middle School in La Mirada to produce their own videos last week at Biola.

The sixth, seventh and eighth graders, along with four Hutchinson teachers, spent Monday writing scripts at their own school and Tuesday filming and interviewing at various sites. They then ventured to Biola a few blocks away on Wednesday and Thursday to shoot and edit. With the help of the Biola film students, they learned to use tools like Garage Band. After their week of hard work, the students, teachers, and Biolans gathered together in the Production Center Friday morning to enjoy the fruit of their labor. The buzz of the young students’ excitement was contagious as they anticipated the viewing of their completed pieces.

“Probably, the editing was my favorite part,” said eighth grader Victor Hawkins, for whom editing was a new experience entirely.

For another eighth grader, Mia Cardona, who found editing to be a challenge, the most interesting part was “setting up where we’re going to film.”

Both Hawkins and Cardona said they could see film production in their high school futures and would gladly participate in a program like this one again, should Biola students offer their time.

Shelbey Hunt, a Biola senior who spent the week with the students, enjoyed watching their enthusiasm.

“It’s just been fun,” Hunt said. “They’ve just been so willing to learn. All of them wanted to hold the camera. All of them wanted to set up the lights.”

Junior Andy Staver, who also worked with the students all week, couldn’t immediately pick his favorite part. He found the students to be especially “well-behaved … really easy to work with and smart,.”

Ileana Cintron, a language arts teacher from Hutchinson, hoped the knowledge her students acquired from the experience could be used in the future, saying that “we want to give them the skills” to use in the future.

The students’ videos will premiere at Hutchinson’s Back to School Night Sept. 15.

Principal Sara Siemen was especially grateful for Biola’s interaction with her students and expressed that such training might be helpful in students’ future school projects, perhaps even in high school and college.

June Hetzel, dean of the School of Education at Biola, worked with the previous principal to set up the project.

“Providing this vision for these students of who they can become can make a difference in their lives,” Hetzel said. “And providing positive young people as role models is an important aspect of supporting adolescents in their development.”

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